I usually like to write stories from a single point of view. It’s obviously a limited perspective, but I enjoy the constraints. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as a reliable narrator. Characters misinterpret things, miss things, draw the wrong conclusions, and it can be tricky and fun to work the “truth” into a story alongside the character’s perceptions. For instance, I think it’s obvious to the reader that Martin is DTF from the get-go, but Henry, equipped with the same amount of information, simply doesn’t get it.
When I started writing the Ganymede Quartet books, it seemed obvious to me that the story needed to be told from the master’s point of view. Whether or not he’s actually prepared to take responsibility, the fact remains that Henry’s the one in charge and he sets the tone. It’s Martin’s job to adapt and respond and accommodate and serve. Obviously, Martin is better-equipped to steer this particular ship, but, unfortunately for Henry, the roles in this relationship weren’t assigned based on fitness or merit. If you’ve read A Most Personal Property (GQ Book 1), you know that when the opportunity finally arises for Martin to take charge, he does so with great effect, but he does wait for Henry to create the opportunity. He’s very well-trained.
I think it’s apparent that Martin is miserable for most of AMPP, and writing weeks of self-doubt and misery even greater than Henry’s, from the perspective of a character who has even less power to effect change…I don’t think anyone wants to read that book, actually.
Henry also needed to be the POV character for the main books because Henry is the one who has the most growing to do. They’re both young, both immature, but Martin is less immature, his sense of self is more solid and, well, he’s a lot smarter. Henry learns a lot over the course of the series, which is not to say that Martin doesn’t, but as the one nominally in charge, Henry’s growth has a greater impact on both of them.
It was possibly something of a risk, but I left out or delayed certain trains of thought because Henry isn’t necessarily considering all aspects and implications of the master/slave dynamic from early on in their relationship. He’s very loving, but he’s not the most insightful person, and it takes him awhile to consider things that a savvier fellow might have questioned from the beginning. It really does take Henry a long time to wonder how Martin’s position and training impact the way Martin responds to him.
I anticipate going a little deeper into Martin’s background, in a way, for the story that will accompany Book 3. I also have a pretty good idea which aspect of Book 4 I’ll present from Martin’s perspective. So far, the Martin stories have been really fun to write, and I definitely look forward to doing them. I think they’re so easy and enjoyable to work on because they revisit territory that I’ve already covered from Henry’s perspective to some extent, and when I’m writing Henry, I’m always considering how Martin might view a given situation, as well.
Offering Martin’s POV at all was actually a pretty late development. It occurred to me shortly before publishing A Most Personal Property that the stories I was busy telling myself about Martin’s past would probably be of interest to anyone who was interested in AMPP, and so I quickly wrote A Superior Slave. I hoped that people who enjoyed reading ASS (ugh, that acronym!) for free might be interested in paying for AMPP, and I think that did happen to some small extent. I’ve gotten the impression (whether it’s true or not) that Martin might be the reader favorite by a small margin, so it just seems like a nice idea to continue offering Martin POV stories alongside the main books. While I think a person can enjoy the main books and Henry’s POV without side stories, I like to think Martin’s perspective is a valuable addition.
I plan on adding additional points of view from other characters in the universe. I’ve got stories written about a couple of Henry’s friends to show how slave ownership works in private for other people. I’ve got at least two stories I want to write about Henry’s cousin Jesse. I think Tom gets his own novella :D
With A Proper Lover (GQ Book 2) and A Master’s Fidelity (GQ Book 2.5) released, I’m just going immediately into editing Book 3 and fleshing out the notes I have for the Martin story. I’d had vague ideas about taking a break, but I honestly don’t know what that would mean at this point. I don’t know what I’d be doing during a break! Right now, the idea of downtime just makes me cranky. Knowing that there are people eager for the next books makes me want to work on getting them out. Besides, working on Martin’s POV is a treat :)
Just for fun: